Rio Wants Us Back!

Anton Ferdinand says that Rio is keeping his fingers crossed for the Hammers in their final run-in - as he wants to face his kid brother next season.

"He wants to see us back where we belong, which is in the Premiership, and West Ham will always have a place in his heart.

"He wants us to get up and see me playing against him, which is my mum and dad's dream.

"Hopefully that will happen next season - we have got the ability to get up there.

Rio is of course in the middle of a suspension from the game for missing a drugs test - so will he be able to come and watch West Ham before the end of the campaign?

"Hopefully," says Anton.

"I am not sure what the manager is saying and he might have to go and train with his team mates - but I am sure if he gets the chance he will be down here.

"He has been away chilling out but he is doing all right and just getting on with it."

Anton was handed a place in the starting line-up on Monday against Crystal Palace - his 10th start in a West Ham shirt - and he adds:

"I managed to play one game, which was good, and I was pleased to be out there again."

He says the red card for David Connolly changed the game and explains:

"It was a harsh sending off; Connors said he didn't touch him so there was obviously a bit of cheating going on there.

"It was obviously a disappointing goal to concede but we just have to get our heads up and make sure we get on with it on Saturday - the most important thing is to play well."

As for how his career is progressing, he says:

"To be honest, at the start of the season I didn't expect to be in the team, I thought I would be playing in the reserves and gradually get in there.

"There have been a few ups and downs but now I have played in the first team I was hoping I could play a bit more, but that wasn't the case.

"Hopefully now I can play in the rest of the matches.

"We have to get four wins, nothing less than that, and I am confident we can get it."

West Ham's defence will be bolstered next season by the return to action of fellow centre half Elliot Ward, who has just returned to reserve team action following a back problem sustained in the summer for which he required surgery.

"He has been out with a back injury but we did have a little partnership going in the reserves which was good," says Anton.

"He is back looking stronger than ever and I personally think he would have been playing this year.

"He is a quality player who is good on the ball, in the air, in one on one situations - and hopefully next year he will be playing.

"He is a great player in my eyes."